Out of Control Policy Blog

In go ìrotting heads, gnarled feet, slimy intestines, and lungs swollen with putrid gasesî

And out comes black gold.

A plant in Carthage, Missouri turns turkey guts, and other kinds of filth, into oil:

    The thermal conversion process can take material more plentiful and troublesome than straw–slaughterhouse waste, municipal sewage, old tires, mixed plastics, virtually all the wretched detritus of modern life–and make it something the world needs much more than gold: high-quality oil.

Brian Appel, the man behind it all, says "This is the first commercial biorefinery in the world that can make oil from a variety of waste streams."

As you might expect cost was a big issue. Appel underestimated costs and was overly optimistic about turning a profit. For most of the plant's life he's actually lost $40 per barrel. And there were other problems, like that horrendous stench:

    But now, after more than $100 million in private funding and $17 million in government grants, several hurdles have tumbled. The Carthage plant has been optimized and is expected to turn a small profit. A tax credit has leveled the playing field with other renewable fuels like biodiesel and ethanol. Appel is confident that new ozone scrubbers and other equipment will abate the odors.

Article here.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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